From automated to smart connected driving
In order for the autonomous minibuses to be able to handle all driving tasks independently, they have to record their dynamically changing environment with cameras, radar and lidar sensors in order to observe their own movement characteristics as well as those of other road users in real time and translate them into safe driving functions. At present, this measurement technology cannot fully replace human cognitive abilities to comprehend a complex traffic situation. However, if the vehicles are networked with other road users and the traffic infrastructure by means of radio technologies (vehicle-to-everything or V2X communication), safety-relevant information can be exchanged at an early stage, e.g. about unexpectedly occurring dangers with accident potential. This not only increases safety, but also optimizes traffic flow and minimizes particle, noise and field strength emissions.
In order to test such solutions and guarantee their functional safety, networked vehicles would actually have to drive billions of test kilometres before being approved. Since this would require immeasurable resources, approval procedures have switched to scenario-based testing in virtual environments.